St. Avery of Bonisagus

Name: Michael John-Paul of St. Avery-by-the-Thames
Age 25
Warping Score 0 (0)
Casting Sigil: A slight sense of vertigo, combined with a pressure in the temples
Voting Sigil: a small, wooden crossroad sign (looks like a Russian Orthodox cross)

Int +5, Per +1, Pre -2, Com +2
Str -1, Sta +2, Dex +1, Qik -2

Traits: Absent-minded (-2), friendly (+2), Intense (+1)
Reputation: Up-and-coming researcher (+1)
House Acclaim: 2(18) - Daduchos
In magic circles, St. Avery is likely known as an up-and-coming Bonisagus researcher from Stonehenge, who specializes in wards; to mundanes, his Gift causes him to present as an absent-minded proto-scientist who probably won't vivisect you.

Virtues: Affinity with Magic Theory (+1), Affinity with Rego (+1), Affinity with Vim (+1), Cautious with Magic Theory (+1), Improved Attribute (Int) (+1), Improved Attribute (Int) (+1), Inventive Genius (+1), Minor Magical Focus: Warding (+1), Puissant Magic Theory (0), Puissant Rego (+1), Puissant Vim (+1)
Flaws: Chaotic Magic (-3), Social Handicap (absent-minded) (-1), Social Handicap (truthful) (-1), Higher Purpose (Improve Magic Theory, -1), Forthright (-1), Small Frame (-1), Mentor (Previous covenant) (-1), Study Requirement (-1)

1 Artes Liberales (literature)
1 Athletics (running away)
1 Awareness (being spied upon)
1 Concentration (prayer)
2 Folk Ken (paranoia)
5 Language - English (native)
4 Language - Latin (Hermetic)
1 Lore (Order of Hermes - Stonehenge)
1 Lore (Magic - Spirits)
7 + 2 Magic Theory (Integration)
1 Parma (vim)
1 Philosophae (natural philosophy)
1 Stealth (social)
2 Survival (night)
1 Theology (Christian)

TeFo: Cr 0, In 0, Mu 0, Pe 0, Re 14+3, An 0, Aq 0, Au 0, Co 0, He 0, Ig 0, Im 0, Me 0, Te 0, Vi 14+3

Dragon's Eternal Oblivion (PeVi 10)
Breath of Mundane Silence (PeVi 15; general countermagic; +2 voice)
Circular Ward against Dragons (ReVi 25)
Hear the Witch-Bell Chimes (InVi 35)
Summon Airy Spirit of Magic (ReVi 20; base 15, +1 Touch))
Command Airy Spirit of Magic (ReVi 15: Base 5, +1 Touch, +1 Conc)
Holy Ward of Triune Protection (ReVi 30*)

Holy Ward of Triune Protection (ReVi 30) - casts a circular ward that protects against the Magic, Farie, and Infernal realms up to the penetration of the spell. (ie, the spell is not locked at a given power level). The spell is functionally a Holy Magic spell, and as such maintains all benefits (Can spend fatigue as 3x vis, positively affected by Holy Auras), but also the restrictions (sensitive to the spiritual state of the caster, cannot use hermetic signs or incantations.) The ward in question is especially susceptible to any later use of Hermetic Magic, and is prone to failure if the magus insists on continuing in their magically sinful ways, including casting hermetic spells or studying from hermetic texts. The effect contains 6 Integration points, which can be used for either Holy Magic or Adjuration. (Adjuration Base effect lvl 25, +1 Touch)

Note that this spell was St. Avery's final project, and was created in the last 2 seasons of his apprenticeship. Also, as he has not renounced his sinful ways, it does not work for him.

Hear the Witch-Bell Chimes (InVi 35) - this is a scrying effect that allows the caster to hear magic: both in pitch (power), and general melody (type). This effect is used by St. Avery to locate sources of non-Hermetic magic to investigate. (base 5 (sense all active magic), Hearing +3, Concentration +1; additional information +1); Note that as a scrying effect, this can technically be a violation of the code; however, as it is almost always cast with negative penetration with the intent to strengthen the Order's magic, it is likely to be considered a trivial case at Tribunal.

Physical Description
St. Avery is a beanpole; nearly 6'4" tall, and almost rail-thin, with thinning brown hair and pale skin. He has a perpetual slouch (developed by spending entirely too much time in the Library), and fingers stained with ink and other dyes. His off-white cassock seems to be somewhat greyed and dirty, although a closer inspection shows that he's actually quite clean, and that the stains move slowly in eldritch patterns if you stare at them for too long. He wears his favorite sandals, regardless of the occasion, and is usually seen wih a grey woolen hat of some sort (he gets cold easily).

In conversations, he has an air of permanent distraction, muttering about 'high-magnitude refraction' or 'thaumaturgic regressions in the Lion's Carbuncle' - which, if you ask him about, he will happily explain to you for hours on end. His hands will usually wander vaguely about, as though he is slowly trying to catch fireflies. In addition, he will often pick up and gesture randomly with items in his environment, and then forget to put them back, leading to a rather large collection of paperweights, spoons, and stylus in the pouches he carries along his belt.

When travelling, he usually carries a staff (not a Talisman) - mainly for investigating (aka 'poking') interesting phenomena with.

It was not, Longinus thought as he examined the latest submission, the first time an apprentice had used the barroom table of the White Rooster as proof of their final project. That honor fell to Margret of Dublin, who carved her thesis into one such piece some two-hundred years past. (“T’would have been sacrilege to use the floor,” the unrepentant Irishwoman had said. “Too many acts of valorous debauchery had been committed on that holy surface to defame it with my unworthy words.”)

Longinus moved around to the side, shuffling his bulk between his bookshelf and the edge of the table, which had been deposited somewhat halfhazardly on top of his engraved summoning circle. Of course, it also wasn’t the first time someone had enchanted this specific piece of furniture with an effect that didn’t work, as a quick check confirmed that the wooden monstrosity still was NOT, much as Jacob of London had wished, ice-proof.

He continued squeezing himself around the table, pushed past the stone alter, and managed to clear himself out into the foyer. He brushed himself off, and sent an impotent glare back past the wrought-iron doors of his own office. The table remained, poking slightly through the doorway. It was, however, the first time someone had submitted the table, with an unworking effect, and still expected to pass his gauntlet.

Not only pass, but publish.

He sighed, lowered his spectacles, and glanced over at his seneschal. “You have the sworn affidavits?”

Mikael nodded, tapping his stylus against his immaculate robe. “Three, sir. Magi Marsuvius and Beltane both confirmed the efficacy of the ward.” He held up a parchment in his left hand. “As well as the complaint from Josephus regarding the imprisonment of his familiar.”

“It held the dragon?” That explained the claw marks on the inside of the circle, as well as the faint smell of brimstone.

“A mildly drunk one, but yes.”

Well, THAT explained the notes of broiled grapes. He reached back, and ran his hand along the outer edge of the ward. “How long did the effect remain?” The natural break between the planks didn’t seem to be enough to justify a catastrophic breakdown of the spell matrix, but…

“According to witnesses, sometime around the sixth rendition of “Hold Your Staves Up High, and Pull Her Damn Skirt Down.”

He stopped running his finger. “Ah. And the resulting barfight?”

“…likely caused by a draconis domesticus demanding compensation of injury.” At a raised eyebrow, he continued with “The crowd was drinking his wine, sir.”

A quick incantation indicated that indeed, there had been a not-inconsiderable amount of eldritch energy embedded in the oaken surface, no more than a day’s past. As well as a faint tingling in the back of the throat; pure justice infused with a hint of wrath.

“Saints and angels preserve us,” he muttered under his breath.

“I believe that was the point, sir,” Mikael responded. “The lab assistants gossip.”

Longinus turned and leaned up against the edge of the table, and pondered the innefable for several minutes. Then, “Tell Josephus that unless he had planned on attacking the Order of Suleiman in his sleep last night, he did not experience any theft of magical power. Inform Boshaft that if he is to willingly accompany the apprentices on their last night before finals, that being locked in an experimental ward with no suitable beverage is the least of his worries.”

“And St. Avery?”

“Tell St. Avery that perhaps he should seek quarters outside of our illustrious tribunal for the near future, so as to avoid antagonizing senior magi into declaring Wizard’s war on him. For at least this week.”

“As a…”

He sighed, and paused for another moment. “You’ve read the thesis, Mikael. Don’t tell me you don’t.”

“They do cross the Scribner’s desk at times, yes.”

“And what do you think I should do with him?”

“Has he broken any of the Order’s Laws?”

“Of course not – he’s not sworn the oath.”

"Is the work sufficient?"

“God, yes.” He made the sign of the cross. “Brilliant in that ‘I’m going to get myself killed by an accidentally-summoned archangel’ sort of way.”

“So, typical Bonisagus, then.”

“You’re not helping.”

“The apprentice in question created a successful integration into Hermetic theory of a divinely-empowered, near-universal seal of protection,” the seneschal replied, “which proceeded to collapse when the caster engaged in immoral acts, thus confirming both the benefits and restrictions of such spell work.”

Longinus harrumphed. “Arguably, that could have been part of the test.”

“It was. Page seventeen, in the Theoretical Discussion.”

Do you read all my missives? I don’t read all my missives.”

“Mainly the ones that can potentially cause us to be preserved by saints and angels, but yes.”

“In the ‘crushed up like a fruit jam’, sense I imagine.”

“Your words, sir.”

“Fine. Where is the idiot, anyway?”

"Hiding in the barn, I believe."

"Let him stew for a while longer, then send him up to pick up his practicum" he said, pointing back into his office. "How the bloody hell are we supposed to file that, anyway?"

"With an axe, I would imagine. By your leave, sir?"

Longinus harrumphed, but nodded, and Mikael left him alone in his office.

Bloody apprentices.

Note: I'm still on a road trip in Texas, and as such don't have access to any of my Ars books - meaning I can't recall things such as the name of the primi of the covneents in Stonehenge - nor can even recall the NAMES of any of those covenents. Nor can I specifically recall the politics of the region. Ah, well. So, really this is just "generic primi talking to generic steward about the wacky antics of the apprentices."

Eh, good enough. I haven't done any creative writing in over a year.

I'll see if I can get an actual character sheet up tomorrow, after I fly back to Seattle.

Great intro text

Abjuration? Isn't that something from D&D?
Please clarify what the focus does.

Abjuration is also from RoP:D - it's one of the Holy Powers. Essentially, it's the "summoning and controlling" half of ReVi, plus basic antimagic.

The theory here is that St. Avery grew up around holy magic, but does not in and of itself use it. (except in this above example, where he attempts to integrate one of the more useful warding guidelines - and succeeds, to his regret.) As such, his focus more-or-less matches up with the Holy Power of his mentor, but he uses the hermetic guidelines, rather than the Holy ones. The guidelines actually map pretty closely; from what I can remember without my books in front of me...

  1. general ReVi ward
  2. direct ReVi spirit summon
  3. Direct ReVi spirit command
  4. general antimagic
  5. Intangible tunnel

Note that Abjuration also includes the "direct command" aspect of ReMe and ReAn - however, the character concept doesn't really touch on that. The main benefit to Holy Abjuration is that it doesn't bother with Realms - you just learn 1 spell, rather than having to learn 3 (no commanding angels, but anything else is covered by 1 effect); that's actually what St. Avery was trying to integrate in the above example.

Unfortunately, he ended up integrating all of the OTHER issues regarding Holy Magic, as well - it's sensitive to the caster's moral state (meaning no Hermetic gestures/incantations, no sinning, and no studying hermetic texts or spells afterwards.) So...basically it's useless unless you want to immediately become a monk.

However, it IS technically an integration: 6 point's worth for either Holy Magic or Abjuration. Hence the likelihood of formal publication in Bonisagus circles - it really is quite good for an apprentice.

i'll let Pralix give his opinion on the rules themselves, just to let you know that piece of dialogue is brilliant !

I think this focus is incredibly useful, since it boosts defense and offense. It feels more like a major focus. Let's put the question to the forum!

Hey- no arguments about the utility. My main issue is that foci are defined by breadth, not utility. Abjuration, as a Power, is essentially "Rego Vim, the good bits." However, the actual list of guidelines is less than half of the TeFo. (if you include the expanded guidelines.) Anyway - I am currently on my cellphone in the Phoenix airport; I'll jump over to the main forum when I get back to Seattle.

That's right: I just designed a spirit summoner with no magic lore.

My thought is that he logically derived their existence from magic theory, then spent a year developing the tools to validate his claim...instead of reading about them in a book.

Why? Because Bonisagus. It's how they roll.

EDIT - OK, no. In retrospect, that would just be silly. I gave him a 1 in the relevant ability. That should be plenty to summon a couple of spirits, right?

Thought about it. I don't want this focus to be part of the game at all.

Fair enough. The spirit summoning part, the Holy Magic part, or the "slightly less than ReVi" part?

Holy Magic and summoning both make me uneasy. I don't mind if you create a Bonisagus hoplite specializing in ReVi and PeVi to kill (Parma downer spells, intangible tunnels with high penetration, DEO etc). If you want to go that way, do so in a way that makes it easy for me to see how powerful your character is.
Or you could just find your Bonisagus an altogether different goal topursue.

"Metamagical Constructs" would also be a decent fit for the character, and would emphasize the theoretical nature of his magic. The actual description would be "any vim effect that can be visualized as a medieval building"

So - that's basically the OTHER half of ReVi - Tunnels (actual tunnels), maintenance effects (waterwheels or aqueducts), wards (walls), watching wards (grain silos). It would probably also include the CrVi (a façade on a house, making it look different) and PeVi shell (a hidden dungeon) effects. Arguably he could also do a PeVi ward (a moat.)

Although admitadly that will change the focus of the character slightly - originally, he was influenced by Holy Magic - now, it's more Verditius or some sort of Craft magi. (Which is fine with me, actually.)

I would personally say that knocking those structures down (PeVi)....probably would work, but only if it was against his own style of effects. (so he could knock a ReVi ward down, but not a CrCo healing circle.) Which opens up Mu (adding a new room), Pe(knocking down a wall) and In(looking at the interior) - but only for the aforementioned ReVi constructs.

Honestly, to me that sounds a BIT (no sarcasm) larger than a MMF, but it's really hyper-focused. It does, however, fit the "anything you can do with mirrors or A&A" idea.

Tunnels? Aren't they PeTe?

Sorry - intangible tunnels: visualizing ReVi constructs as actual medieval engineering constructs.

You know I'm playing this after a hard day of work and when I am trying to read your ideas I get a headache. I can see mirrors, but there are so many other foci than metamagic: birds, men, trees, ice, bloody certamen
And there are even clear-cut vim foci: fairies, demons

Can't you choose something more normal? In the game description, I asked for normal magi. I also asked you to leave me alone with complicated rules. Do! Please do!

Sorry 'bout that - thought I was avoiding the complicated rules (ie, not actually using Holy magic, avoiding Ex Mis stuff, essentially using only the core rulebook for character creation). That being said, I can flip to just "wards", if you like.

Well, you didn't do anything wrong. It's just me being inflexible.
Wards is wonderful. Easy to define. They used to be complicated for a few years, but there now seems a consensus that they have to penetrate (see Project redcap)

Sure'nuff - That's one of the reasons why having a MMF in it is so useful (as essentially you need to double-cast any effect to make it work to its full potential).

Based on that (and the desire not to give you another headache :slight_smile: ) - Is the Warding virtue from HoH:S in play? (It's in the Ex Misc section.) It's crazy-insane useful to have if you're a warding expert, but I've had GM's look at it and go "ha-ha-ha! No." But no biggie if you'd prefer to avoid that - it's not particularly central to the character.

I was just going to write, only if you are a Columbae, but then, Bonisagi are apprentice-thieving sobs, so you can have it. I don't think it is overpowered.
Sta 3 + warding 6 + no aura + roll o 6 = 15. shrugs

Warding = no problem
But if you also want to take their hermetic virtue (circle something), you'll have to accept the Columbae flaw and either be a Columbae or an apprentice stolen by House Bonisagus.